Monday, November 16, 2020 6:06 pm
As the world is battling with the menace of the Covid-19 disease pandemic, Kogi State is contending with the outbreak of another health challenge. An informed source has revealed that Twenty new cases of leprosy has been recorded in the State in the last ten months.
The revelation was made by Mrs Hannah Fashola, the state program officer, Leprosy Mission Nigeria, LMN at a news briefing in Lokoja on Monday. The group was part.of Covid-19 response palliatives distribution for communities of persons affected by leprosy and disabilities in Kogi State.
Fashona who noted that the organization is determined to wipe out the disease in Nigeria, added that the state referrer center located in Ochadamu in Ofu Local Government Area, LGA had succeeded in treating some patients affected by the disease.
According to her, it is on record that due to fear and lack of knowledge, over 3 million people across the world are living with undiagnosed leprosy and every day the disease causes more damage to their health, livelihood and future. The LMN program officer added that more than 600 people are diagnosed of leprosy in the world daily adding that over 50 of these are children.
She explained further that Leprosy Mission is embarking on daily research to achieve zero leprosy in the world. Fashona however faulted the claim of the Federal Government that Nigeria has attained zero elimination campaign of leprosy.
“The issue in Nigeria is not only limited to leprosy alone. The Federal Ministry of Health recently said they have recorded zero elimination campaign of leprosy, whereas, day in day out, we record new cases of which children are largely involved.
“Some of these patients don’t come when it is early, they come when it is either grade one or grade two disabilities. They must have gone round the whole herbalist before somebody will refer them to our referrer centre in Ochadamu for them to get solution. The Federal Government has to come in to achieve that zero elimination campaign and should not be by lip service”.
Through raising awareness, prevention, treatment and follow-up, she noted that LMN will continue to support people so that they can leave normal lives among their pears in the society.
On why Leprosy Mission Nigeria in collaboration with TBF Thompson Foundation were distributing palliatives to persons affected with leprosy and disabilities, Fashona maintained that Covid-19 pandemic has affected so many lives in the world including the rich, poor and the less privileged. She said the palliatives will be distributed to the most vulnerable persons of leprosy and people living with disabilities in Kogi State.
”If this pandemic could cripple businesses, nations across the world, how much of this people of this caliber. It is obvious that their own situation wil bel terrible. This is why the Leprosy Mission decided to come up with this to cushion the effect of outbreak of corona virus.
”As I speak to you, over 80 household across the three senatorial districts will benefit from this palliatives. This will go a long way at reducing hunger in the land” She averred.
Receiving the palliatives on behalf of the Kogi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs Hajia Fatima Buba who was represented by a Director of the ministry Mrs Adegbola Elizabeth Fumilayo thanked the donors for the kind gesture just as she tasked the beneficiaries to always remember them in prayers. She urged them not to the palliatives. Noodles, rice, sugar, salt and other food items were among the palliatives.